Coronavirus: Barking and Dagenham College guarantees students’ places for next academic year

Yvonne Kelly. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College.

Yvonne Kelly. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College. - Credit: Archant

A college principal has told students they are guaranteed places to study during the next academic year.

Yvonne Kelly, of Barking and Dagenham College, wrote to all students to let them know that their places are guaranteed after the lockdown forced it to close.

Ms Kelly said: “Our response to this unprecedented situation is being firstly driven by wanting to support the health and wellbeing of our students, both current and future, and also our staff.

“We understand that there must be a lot of anxiety amongst our students and also young people who were due to take their GCSEs at school this year.

“They might worry that they will miss out on some of their education and that they will not be able to go to college next year. We want to help relieve that anxiety. Therefore, I am pleased to confirm that the college will guarantee all students a place to study with us next year.”

The arrangement applies to all current and new students.

Practicalities are yet to be finalised, based on final grades and discussions with tutors.

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“I want to remove any uncertainty and provide this guarantee for all students,” Ms Kelly said.

The college decided on the policy to guarantee every student a place next year after the government cancelled all GCSE, A-level and technical, vocational and professional examinations.

They were axed to give pupils, parents and teachers certainty and enable providers to focus on helping vulnerable children and those of key workers.

Along with other settings, the college is awaiting further guidance from the government as to what the cancellations will mean for students.

It is also working closely with awarding organisations, such as Pearson and City & Guilds, to establish what effect the coronavirus lockdown will have.

The college has pledged to ensure that current students will be able to complete their qualifications and has moved towards a virtual approach to teaching and support.

Students have been encouraged to keep in contact with their tutors and learning support staff and to ask any questions they may have.

Questions can be sent to the college’s website or its Facebook page.